Using Responsive Design to Optimize Omnichannel

August 12, 2013 Jeremy Black

This article originally appeared on The Mobile Retail Blog.


According to a whitepaper by Bazaarvoice, customers who access a retailer across multiple channels spend 18-36% more compared to those who use only one channel. Furthermore, as we shared in a webinar we hosted in June, 80-90% of customers pre-shop before even setting foot in a store. They can no longer be as easily acquired through traditional advertising alone. In the past five years shopping has become drastically more complex, and investing in omnichannel retailing not only means better methods of connecting with customers, but also producing short-term wins for the bottom line.

These trends are converging to make omnichannel a core offering by retailers. But what can retailers specifically do to adapt to this complex transformation?

The Case for Responsive Design

I often recommend to my retail clients that they implement a website created using responsive design. Your website can be built to adapt to different devices, used in a variety of different contexts, and to connect with prospects or customers.

This targets your ideal customers at their most accessible access point – their always-on, always connected, smartphone (or tablet, or laptop).

What are retailers doing to leverage responsive design to improve the omnichannel experience for customers?

Case Study: Skinny Ties

Skinny Ties has been a producer and retailer of neckwear for decades. But as recently as 2012, its website was not its strong point, despite the company having been one of the first in its niche to enter eCommerce. Skinny Ties made the transition from an ordinary HTML-based website into a responsive design website.

eConsultancy highlights the results after three months into this transition to responsive design in a case study: 42.4% revenue growth, an impressive 377.6% revenue growth for iPhone, and a 13.6% increase in conversion rate.

Other retailers, such as Indochino, Fit for A Frame, and Think Tank Photo have adopted responsive web technology to create a much more specialized mobile experience for their customers and make their website tailored for types of hardware and software.

The benefits of using a responsive web design include:

  • A richer user experience that increase conversions
  • One URL driving higher SEO and SMO
  • One codebase to manage, which makes for simpler maintenance and repairs

Increasingly, organizations are moving to Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs) to build their responsive web experiences. A best-in-class MEAP is ideal for retail, as it provides a framework to build robust, secure and rich websites, pre-built modules (eg, push notification, social integration, shopping cart), and has tools for tracking website performance.

Should you choose to use a platform to build your responsive website, ensure that it has:

  • Tools to create a responsive design website for all devices
  • A server that provides browser and device optimization for displaying content
  • Pre-built modules that reduce the cost and effort development

Choosing the right platform is crucial to creating and maintaining a website with responsive design technology.

Closing Thoughts

The ever-increasing number of mobile devices, and the increasing importance of Millennials to the future of business, means that omnichannel retailing is key to succeeding in the future of retail. This article highlighted how responsive design can contribute to the omnichannel retailing experience, and the benefits of using a platform to implement this approach. This disruptive technology will put early adopters in a crucial position to develop deeper relationships with customers than ever before. Take advantage of this opportunity before your competitors do!

About the Author


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